Pit Bull Owner to Face Charges for Attack on Police Chief - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Pit Bull Owner to Face Charges for Attack on Police Chief

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ST. IGNATIUS -

A St. Ignatius man may face charges after his pit bull severely injured the town's police chief, who may need surgery on his arm.

It will be up to a judge to decide the fate of the dog, and its owner is concerned his family pet may be put down.

The police chief may need surgery on his arm after the dog bit and tore ligaments in his forearm.

But, the dog's owner said his pet is normally very friendly, and was likely only acting out of fear.

"He's a lover for the most part," said Jeremy Samsel, the dog's owner.

Samsel has raised his pure bred pit bull, Jackson, for nearly five years.

"I mean, he's one of my kids, man."

Samsel was at work on Thursday when the incident happened.

His next-door neighbor, Lucy Porter, said she called 9-1-1 when she couldn't break up a fight between Jackson, Samsel's two other dogs and her own two dogs.

Police Chief Jeffrey Ferguson said when he responded to that call, Jackson was still in Porter's yard.

When he put him on a leash to return him to Samsel's property, Jackson attacked his leg and brought him down to the ground.

"I noticed it was starting to lunge forward at my face area, so I put my arm up and it started chewing on my arm," Samsel said.

Ferguson said he didn't want to shoot the dog, so he tased it, and Jackson ran back to Porter.

After the attack, authorities were able to capture the dog and it was taken to the St. Ignatius Veterinary Clinic, where it will be held in quarantine to ensure it doesn't have rabies.

Samsel and his neighbors said Jackson is very protective and doesn't like being on a leash, which may have led to his aggression.

"He's run people off that he didn't know before, but he's never tried to bite anybody," Samsel added.

Samsel said he just wants Jackson to come home, and would do everything he could to prevent it from happening again.

"I'm very sorry for everything that happened, I don't wish any ill to the dog or the officer."

But, Ferguson said Samsel must face the consequences, which could include having Jackson put down.

"If it'd been a small kid or someone else who wasn't able to pull him off them, then it could have been a lot worse," Ferguson said.

He said Samsel will face charges for having a dog at large and owning a vicious dog.

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